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The Alphabet of Heart's Desire

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire is a beautifully written historical fiction novel loosely based on Thomas De Quincy’s early life. 

English essayist Thomas de Quincy (most famous for “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater”) is the first protagonist that we meet, some years after most of the novel’s narrative takes place.

The story is told to us in alternating chapters told by Thomas, Anne and Tuah. 

Thomas we are familiar with; Anne, is a young girl when we meet her. Forced by life, bad luck and circumstance into a life of prostitution.

Tuah, is a young orphaned boy when we meet him. Taken from his home by Dutch slave traders and bought onto a ship bound for the UK. Tuah is sold to the ships captain who takes him under his wing and teaches him English until they arrive in the U.K.

Thomas after a troubled early life finds himself on the streets of a London as a young man. He has no idea of how the real world operates having been bought up relatively comfortably.

You might ask what connects these characters. Well it’s not at all clear at first, but as the narrative progresses we begin to see how they are unquestionably linked.

Thomas falls upon hard times when he arrives in London, abandoned by his family, he is discovered by Anne on the street following an altercation with some men of less than desirable character. They are strangers to each other, of different worlds but drawn together by a need for companionship and laudanum … and that’s where the real story begins.

The Alphabet of Heart’s Desire is highly recommended for any historical fiction fan.

Vicky-Leigh Sayer, A LoveReaidng Ambassador

LoveReading

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Reader Reviews

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This is such a great historical novel, well researched with three stories intertwined, written with thought and a little comical at times too.

This book present a fictional view of Thomas De Quincey, who wrote the first book about drug addiction. Based on his time in London where he is found living on the streets- a middle class person and spend time with whore Anne and partaking in drugs. the time is around the beginning of the 19th century. The author creates from historical research how London would have been at that time, what the person would see, smell and experience. The third main character is called Tuan, a captured slave living in London and he is eventually freed by his owner. it is interesting and shocking how society was at that time.

This is such a great historical novel, well researched with three stories intertwined, written with thought and a little comical at times too.... Read Full Review

Jane Brown